Aadhar and Social Media
Why in discussion?
Recently the government has submitted an affidavit in the Supreme Court saying that internet has emerged as an effective tool to disrupt democratic polity.
- From January 2020, the Supreme Court will start hearing cases related to linking of Aadhaar with social media profiles of individuals.
- The Supreme Court on the issue of linking Aadhaar with social media has important questions of law such as whether mandatory linking of Aadhaar with personal social profile would infringe the right to privacy of a person and it would not violate the obligations and expression of intermediaries (Facebook, WhatsApp etc.). How would that affect the balance between freedom? etc. will be considered.
- The issue has once again sparked a legal debate after the Supreme Court in 2017 declared the right to privacy as a fundamental right in a landmark judgment.
- According to the central government, effective regulation of mediators present on social media and revising the existing rules will take more time.
- Facebook, WhatsApp and Google have spoken of transfer of nearly four cases related to the subject in the Madras, Madhya Pradesh and Bombay High Courts to the Supreme Court.
- Facebook argued that questions related to fundamental rights such as privacy and freedom of expression needed to be considered in these cases. Because if the cases are heard by different High Courts separately and the decisions given by them are conflicting then it can affect the fundamental right of the citizens.
Definition of Intermediaries as per Information Technology Act-2000:
- Intermediaries as defined by the Information Technology Act, 2000 include telecommunications service providers, network service providers, Internet service providers, web hosting, search engines, online payment websites, online auction platforms, online shopping websites and cyber cafes. .
- Section 87 of the Information Technology Act-2000 empowers the Central Government to make rules to regulate intermediaries. At present arbitrators are regulated by the rules framed in the year 2011.
Some current issues related to Aadhaar linking of social media:
- In the year 2018, writ petitions filed by two activists working in the field of animal protection in the Madras High Court demanded that Aadhaar be linked with social media accounts and directed the mediators to provide information about individual accounts. Go. However, this petition was later withdrawn.
- According to a petition filed in the Bombay High Court in October 2018, online paid political content (print and electronic political content that is displayed online in exchange for paying a price) should be banned 48 hours before the election.
- A petition filed in the Madhya Pradesh High Court in July 2019 sought mandatory KYC with the help of Aadhaar and other identity cards before using any social media platform.
Supreme Court Comment:
- According to the Supreme Court, various messages and materials are being circulated on social media, some of which are harmful and incite violence in the society.
- Some of these messages may be a threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
- Social media has become the source of a large amount of pornographic material nowadays and drugs, weapons and other prohibited material are also being sold through online platforms run by intermediaries.
Unique Identification Authority of India:
(Unique Identification Authority Of India-UIDAI)
- UIDAI was established on 12 July 2016 as a statutory body under the Aadhaar (Targeted Description of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Act, 2016 under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
- UIDAI was set up to provide a unique identification number called 'Aadhaar' to all citizens of India to eliminate dual and fake identities and authenticate it easily and at an affordable cost.
- India's first UID number was issued on 29 September 2010 to Nandurbar resident of Maharashtra.
The right to privacy of any person should be violated only in special circumstances, but to deal with the situation affecting the integrity and dignity of the country and the reputation of an individual, there is a need for a fresh regulation in coordination with arbitrators.